Domesticity is in fashion. At least, that’s how social media mega influencer, fashion stylist and now baker Liz Uy makes it seem.
Uy (1.6 million Instagram followers) is opening a pop-up stall of her home-baked cookie brand, Mood Bake, on March 15 at Greenbelt 5, Makati City.
“I wanted to relearn cooking,” Uy tells Inquirer Lifestyle. “I took HRIM (Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at College of St. Benilde) but forgot all about it when my styling career took over my life. Now that I have my own family, I want to cook for them.”
Uy, who has a one-year-old son, Xavi, with her tech entrepreneur partner Raymond Racaza, was already making magic in her kitchen in between her fashion commitments, long before she became a mom. After Xavi’s birth, she wanted her to make something more of her baking hobby, to make things that she hopes her little boy would love. She began developing her own cookie recipe.
Baking a science
Like many home bakers, Uy’s starting point was Google. “I did all that, and then bought cookie recipe books, pastry books—did those, too. Until I came up with my own… Aside from premium ingredients and the recipe, I think the secret to a good cookie is having a nerd in the kitchen. Baking is a science.”
Uy had taken classes under chefs Gene Gonzalez and Jun de Guzman. “I started off with pastries. I can’t believe I made all kinds of dessert!” she says. Her practice products were sent to family and friends, including her neighbors, Rajo Laurel and Nix Alañon. “They saw my growth in baking.”
Uy describes her cookie thus: “It has a bump of crunch on top, ooey-gooey in the center, taller than the conventional cookies, and every bite guarantees to be fuller and more chocolatey than expected”—a description that reminded this writer of New York’s famous Levain Bakery cookies. Mood Bake’s is heftier than your usual cookie, at approximately 100 grams each, though nearly half the size of Levain’s robust treats.
Uy didn’t set out to run a bakery business, but she was encouraged by the feedback of celebrity friends and even clients, who would ask her to bring her baked goodies during photo shoots. “It happened organically,” she says. “It happened so fast! How can I pass up an opportunity this good?”
Uy named it Mood because she used to bake only when she was in the mood. “Now I am always in the mood!” she says with a laugh.
After teasers on the Instagram page @moodbake, she is now ready for a physical retail outlet, with her pop-up at Greenbelt 5’s ground floor. Uy is offering only one flavor for now—the classic chocolate chip—but she’s developing other variants. The cookies sell at P99 apiece, and will also come in boxes of five and 10. Bulk orders (for special occasion and corporate giveaways) can be placed online (moodbake.com).
“Fashion will never go away,” Uy says. “Me without fashion is like a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate. I’ve a newfound love for baking beyond being just a hobby. I’m slowly finding the right balance between food and fashion.”